Herein dumpeth Bwog various unrelated chunks of news, information, and gossip…

SoA Films Score Big

Three films produced by School of the Arts alums have received major accolades. At the Sundance Film Festival, Padre Nuestro, written and directed by Christopher Zalla and produced by Ben Odell (both SoA ’04) took the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic film, while Grace is Gone, written and directed by current MFA writing candidate James C. Strouse (who also won the Walter Salt Award for best screenplay) and co-produced by Jessica Levin (SoA ’02), won an Audience Award for favorite dramatic film. In Hollywood, meanwhile, Little Miss Sunshine, produced by Albert Berger (SoA ’83) has received four Oscar nominations, incuding one for best picture.

SoA isn’t the only Columbia school celebrating filmic success, however. The Audience Award for favorite documentary at Sundance went to Hear and Now, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky (J-School ’97), and (update!) Rosie Bsheer, a PhD student in the History Department, worked as an assistant producer for My Country, My Country, nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

The university homepage is only too happy to gloat, not to mention provide a teleological narrative of the SoA film division’s rise to greatness. Bask in vicarious afterglow here.


Spec’s editorial page wants to get the word out – it’s looking for 200-300 word reactions to Saifedean Ammous’ Jan. 26 piece “Recognizing Palestine’s Struggle“. The short articles should not be point by point refutations but address generally some of the issues with which Ammous’ piece is concerned, e.g. the direction of the anti-war movement or Israel’s human rights record. The articles will run on Monday as part the first of many “Spec Symposia,” a series of 4-7 short takes on a single issue. Submissions are due to specopinion [at] by Friday at 6PM; anyone remotely connected to Columbia or Middle East studies is ecouraged to contribute.

More minutiae after the jump…

Advisors Who…Care?

Reminding us what makes Barnard (well, at least the Barnard of the 1960s) truly special, Ellen Handler Spitz writes in a sentimental piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what the term “Alma Mater” means to her – she found that Barnard provided her a sort of substitute nurturer after her mother passed away. Somehow, Bwog can’t see its JSAAC advisors attempting to inspire resolve with a monologue as dramatic and compassionate as Spitz’ Barnard dean, and momentarily wishes it, too, could be strong and beautiful.


Prof. Lydia Goehr in Philosophy of History:

“Tony Blair?  Ugh, he’s not world-historical.”

She admitted, however, that Margaret Thatcher was. Bwog closes with a heartwarming image of the Iron Lady advancing her nation’s Hegelian Volksgeist…or something.